CIAA books Gachchhadar, Bhatbhateni owner among other big wigs for Lalita Niwas land grab

  • February 6, 2020

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) building.

The commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Wednesday filed a charge-sheet against 175 individuals at the Special Court, accusing their involvement in illegally registering Lalita Niwas land in the names of various individuals.

Nepali Congress leader and former deputy prime minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar, former ministers Chandra Dev Joshi, Chhabiraj Pant and Dambar Shrestha, former government secretary Dinesh Hari Adhikari and former secretary and CIAA ex-chief Dip Basnyat, are among those being charge-sheeted.

Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar

Meanwhile, the anti-graft body did not file corruption cases against former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai, though cabinet level decisions were taken during their tenures to legalize the transfer of government land to individuals.

The CIAA has said that cabinet decisions do not fall within its jurisdiction.

Gachhadar and Shrestha have been accused of embezzling Rs 9.65 crore each and Joshi of embezzling 7.08 crore.

Shobha Kanta Dhakal and Ram Kumar Subedi, who have been accused of acting as land mafia, have also been named defendants in the case. The CIAA accused Dhakal and Subedi of embezzling Rs 39.27 and Rs 52.51 crore, respectively.

It also accused Bhatbhateni owner Min Bahadur Gurung of embezzling over Rs 50 crore.

Min Bahadur Gurung

Former secretaries Deep Basnyat, Chhabi Raj Panta have been accused of embezzling Rs 9.65 crore each. Dineshhari Adhikari has been accused of embezzling 7.08 crore.

Basnyat later became commissioner of the CIAA and was promoted to the post of chief commissioner before his retirement.

CIAA also named current Judge of Chitwan District Court Binod Kumar Gautam as a defendant, accusing him of submitting wrong legal opinion when he was posted at the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 years ago. Gautam has been accused of embezzling Rs 9.65 crore.

CIAA stated that the government had duly acquired 284 ropani land of Lalit Niwas but after restoration of democracy in 1990 those land plots were illegally transferred in individuals’ names.

CIAA said it did not name Navin Paudel, who is the son of NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, and Kumar Regmi defendants for purchasing Lalita Niwas land as they deposed before it that they were ready to return the land to the government.